There's so much to process right now.
You ARE a battered woman.
I'm so sorry.
Did you ever call the police on him or file any reports for domestic abuse? If he does it again or you feel threatened please get the phone and call the police immediately.
MrH has never hit me. Like you, I've been grabbed by the throat. I've been yanked. I've been shoved.
For years I thought I couldn't call it abuse. When I threw him out in'97 and told him no M if no MC, I still felt foolish for calling it abuse.
It was abuse. It's happened twice since '97, both times in the immediate aftermath of d-days. So when he says he hasn't abused me since '97, our MC said not true. My IC says it's abuse. My IC and a lawyer both told me that even when he's hit a wall near me or blocked an exit, it was intimidation, abuse and illegal. Fortunately MrH is remorseful and now that I call it abuse and won't put up with it, he's learning how to deal with his emotions more effectively.
While I have a hard time saying it out loud, it doesn't change the fact that it was still abuse. It may not be black eyes and broken bones. Calling it abuse in no way demeans what other women have been through, if that makes sense. So stop downplaying what it is, only then can you begin to deal with it and what it's done to you mentally and emotionally. Those scars last longer than bruises or broken bones.
he never hid the name calling or put downs
Yes, you were abused emotionally/verbally.
had me by the throat, smacked me a few times, etc..and since that first time has punched and slapped me a few other times when he was super pissed at me/thrown things at me, etc..
Yes, you were abused physically.
that I push him to that level of anger, that if I would shut the fuck up, etc that he wouldn't have to "drill things into me
I'm just trying to sort a lot of these things in my mind and separate what he told me vs reality
This crazymaking is manipulation and probably even emotional/verbal abuse as well.
ETA: my heart hurts for what you've been through and are still going through. I just want to give you ALLLLLL the hugs.
[This message edited by abbycadabby at 9:48 AM, December 6th (Friday)]
I want to gently caution you that as you begin the process of detaching from your STBX, you're going to have more & more incidents come to mind. Some may flood your mind & overwhelm you, others may gather slowly until you suddenly realize you're having a WTF Moment. You are an abused spouse. I was an abused spouse. You are just now coming to realize how abused you were/are. This is a very hard path to walk. There are several of us here who have survived being abused. Many of us have had WTF Moments as we had another realization hit us hard.
Be very gentle with yourself. Do you have an IC? If not, please get one ASAP. I couldn't have made it out of the hell I was in without my IC.
Oh, honey. It's hard, isn't it? To get through the day, to want to think of the situation and the people involved in the best light, we shoulder on through things that are so terrible, we can only really see them for what they are after gaining safe distance.
It was like that for me, too. It took six months away from my XWH to be able to verbalize that the "rough sex" had been extremely violent rape. That people aren't supposed to be bruised and bleeding afterwards. Looking back, it seems incredible that locking myself in a room with the kids after an attack, I didn't run for a phone to call the police.
It took another six months after that for me to wrap my head around just how much emotional abuse had been going along in addition to the physical abuse. Things that we pass off as "anger response" or a "bad fight" that turn out to be so textbook abuse, it's stunning.
To this day, I still remember something new and it's like a bell gonging in my head - the memory juxtaposed against what the situation really was.
It's just like you said - it's a lot to process.
The really important thing to remember is this:
You didn't do anything to deserve it. There isn't anything wrong with you that prompted the abuse. You're not stupid for not understanding what it was, you're not broken because you tried to be positive. You have a healthy and functioning survival instinct and stay on your feet during trauma.
Those are all good things.
You should never have had to learn that about yourself this way. Now that you're aware, now that you do have some safety, its time to gain more safety. For you and for your kids. You need to decide how immediate and present a threat he is to you now and take steps accordingly. From your other posts, he's harassing you with emails. Save those. Don't ask him to come back. Hopefully, him being a physical presence in your life is now over. Let's keep that trend going.
You're going to remember a lot. You're going to make some connections that will be shocking and painful, but they're necessary.
Keep posting. Write things down. It helps to see them in coherent form. We're all with you. Lots of us have been there. We'll help however we can.
Any DV support organization in your area can help you find one.
He's no threat now, he is 2000 miles away and never wants to see me again.
I feel completely safe physically.
I don't have an IC right now..I'm on a waiting list for one :P
As NG said, you will find yourself rediscovering memories of conversations, fights, and incidents that may very well catch you off guard. All of that needs to be processed through your new lens of seeing him for who he really is. It will bend your brain, honey, and that's ok. It will stir up all manner of emotions - anger, hurt, sadness, etc. All of it needs to be processed, but it doesn't all have to happen this minute.
It was of great help to me to write down the memories when they came up, noting what jogged it lose - a specific place? A person? A turn of phrase? A smell? - I'd capture everything I could about the memory. And then I'd let it sit. I'd revisit it a while later, sometimes on my own, sometimes sharing it with a trusted friend or my IC, and sometimes here on SI. It helped me tremendously to capture it in a way I could review it. In my case, it was a handwritten journal. You could also type it on your computer - either in a Word document or in the journal feature in your SI profile (I'd advise you to keep the SI journal set to private).
Be gentle with yourself and your beans.
"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana
Two books that really helped me were:
Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft
Women that Love Too Much
I bet your library has them.
Just read your most recent response. GOOD FOR YOU. F.T.G.
[This message edited by libertyrocks at 1:26 PM, December 6th (Friday)]
At first I thought he lost his mind and this wasn't "him."
But it was always him.
Do try to find an IC as quickly as you can so you can begin to process this. They are difficult waters to navigate on top of the simultaneous senses of loss you may also feel.
[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 3:14 PM, December 6th (Friday)]
First, I'm sorry you've had to deal with the sh*t you have; no one deserves to be treated in such a way.
Second, that's really it when it comes to saying, "was it physical abuse?"...if it was happening to Joe Blow on the street, how would it be classified? Assault. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/assault-battery-aggravated-assault-33775.html
There's a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon between words and physically assaulting someone; I don't care what you may've said or not said, he took it over the line. Period.
As someone affected by childhood sexual molestation, I see you starting the uncomfortable process of recognizing the reality of what happened to you. I know for years and years (and years) I did not acknowledge that what had happened to me was molestation. I had framed it in acceptable terms and compartmentalized it and kept it in a tightly shut box because that helped me get to where I could be able to deal with it. Cognitively you may know you didn't deserve to be treated with disrespect and have your boundaries violated so egregiously, but it's a very hard thing to grapple with emotionally.
(((Lostandpregnant))) Honey, you didn't do anything, ANYTHING, that made his abusive behavior okay. Trying to convince you that you did is all part of the abuser's schtick. FTG.
As for the kiddies, you are the center of their universe. You need to be built up, not torn down in order to have the energy and resources to be there for them. A man who is regularly or periodically a total dick to you and physically abusive is a detriment to them as a result. The reality is that kids learn what they live and they hear and pick up on more than you can imagine. It's far healthier for them to be in a loving single-parent home than in a dysfunctional home with married parents, IMO.
Sending you lots of strength.
I just wish I could hug you. What on earth has happened that has made you believe you ever deserved this kind of treatment?
I am not saying this judgmentally; I was emotionally abused for the three decades I was with my husband.
I didn't know---seriously, I had NO idea. I didn't see it when it was going on. I had grown up with a malignant narcissist/sociopath father and alcoholic (VERY unreliable) mother. I had NO clue that this is not what relationships were like.
I have not yet had a good one--at least, not with a man. (I always have, with my children. I had other good role models for parenting, and tons of experience with kids before having my own.) I hope I will one day.But to be honest, I'm so happy to be having one with MYSELF, at this point---reframing things within the context of my new truth has been so rewarding.
On good days (and most days are good now), I know with certainty that I never did anything to "earn" this--from my husband or anyone.
On bad days, which I still have from time to time, I find myself buying in to his elaborate rewrite--or the messages from my parents.
My point is that, with practice, you WILL see things the way they really are. It takes work, over time.
But you will.
Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft
Another thing that helped me was to google checklists of emotional abuse, psychological abuse, etc. Once I noticed I was checking off many of the items on the list, I started to realize the truth.
Be very gentle to yourself as you process this.